The Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. We need the best connection possible if we want to have fun, do some work, learn, or do any other thing that a good internet connection provides.
Well, an unreliable connection can cause quite a lot of frustration. There’s a reason it’s unreliable, especially if we live in a 2-story house and the router is not placed properly. Oh, no! There’s no signal in your bedroom upstairs, and the router is just below.
To better understand where to place your router, continue reading, and you’ll know why the position of the router is important, how to position the router for the best signal, and what’s the best place for it in a 2-story house.
The position of the router in our home is important because of two things, the Wi-Fi and the wired connections. Nobody wants to buy wiring that goes through the entire house. It’s a hassle, and that’s why Wi-Fi is so convenient.
However, even Wi-Fi has its disadvantages because not all signals can reach every corner of the house, and the range itself depends on the frequency band. Fortunately, most routers use the two most common bands, 2.4GHz (Gigahertz) and 5GHz. Let’s review these two.
The 2.4GHz frequency band can reach farther distances. Theoretically, it can reach twice as much as 410ft (125m approximately). However, in the real world it’s 410ft, and that’s quite enough distance.
The speed is much lower than with the 5GHz band. The maximum speed of the 2.4GHz band is 150 Mbps (Megabits per second). So, what it lacks in speed it makes up for in range. The 5GHz band is the opposite.
The 5GHz band has a range of 230ft (approx. 70m), this is enough to cover one entire floor, but the signal strength is questionable. Another thing is that even though the 5GHz band has a smaller range than 2.4GHz, it’s much faster.
When we speak about speed, the speed of the 5GHz band goes up to 450 Mbps. It’s three times faster than the 2.4GHz band. Fortunately, most routers manufactured after 2009 include both bands. The newest band is the 6GHz band, but let’s stick with the first two.
Because of the characteristics of the two ubiquitous Wi-Fi bands, we need to think about how to position our router. So, there are a few tips to follow when installing your new router to get the best signal and functionality.
This actually works if your living room is in the middle of your house or unit, and every other room surrounds the living room. Fortunately for us, this is not the case in most homes. We need to think about the location central to us through the house.
Think about the rooms you spend your time in the most. If you spend less time in the garage, and more time in the kitchen, you can place it closer to the kitchen. Also, avoid placing it next to windows.
The reason why your router should be away from the kitchen is that some appliances we use don’t cooperate well with our Wi-Fi router. The most common appliance that doesn’t work well with the router is the microwave.
Microwave ovens confuse the Wi-FI because they emit the same frequency, and this interferes with the signal. Metal is not the Wi-Fi signal’s friend because it absorbs the frequency. All these factors might disrupt your router.
To understand this, you need to understand how the signal travels. When we install a router and turn it on, the frequency forms a bubble of radio waves around a certain range. Central to that frequency is the router.
When we put the router on the ceiling of the second story of our house, we lose half of the signals. On the upside, the Wi-Fi on the roof is going to be great. However, it’s important to choose a higher position on the first floor for better coverage.
If there are too many walls around the router, the Wi-Fi signal will have trouble reaching your devices. If the walls are thick, the signal has trouble going through. So, you might end up having a weak connection.
You should avoid putting the router into any corner of any room because of this reason. Also, it’s good to place it away from mirrors or fish tanks. The mirrors reflect the waves of the Wi-Fi frequency, and it gets resistance from the water.
When you consider all the tips for positioning the router appropriately, it’s quite easy to decide where to place the router in a 2-story house. Just summarize the rooms you use the most, and test it out, experiment a little.
It’s important to try out different router positions, and see which one works best for you. If you don’t know how thick the walls are, it’s quite important to do a little testing.
Nevertheless, the most important thing to keep in mind for a 2-story house is that you should put the router closer to the ceiling. A higher position is necessary. Remember the bubble, this analogy should make it easier for you to find a perfect position for your router.
Router position is quite important because of the Wi-Fi frequency bands and signal reach. There are a lot of factors that affect the Wi-Fi signal and we need to take all of them into account before we pick the right position for our device.
Finally, it’s important to test out all possibilities. Using these tips, you can figure out the best place to put your router in your 2-story house. If you still have trouble figuring it out, try contacting a technician from your ISPs office, they might help.
Hey, I’m David. I’ve been working as a wireless network engineer and a network administrator for 15 years. During my studies, I also worked as an ISP field technician – that’s when I met Jeremy.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in network engineering and a master’s degree in computer science and engineering. I’m also a Cisco-certified service provider.
In my professional career, I worked for router/modem manufacturers and internet providers. I like to think that I’m good at explaining network-related issues in simple terms. That’s exactly what I’m doing on this website – I’m making simple and easy-to-follow guides on how to install, set up, and troubleshoot your networking hardware. I also review new network equipment – modems, gateways, switches, routers, extenders, mesh systems, cables, etc.
My goal is to help regular users with their everyday network issues, educate them, and make them less scared of their equipment. In my articles, you can find tips on what to look for when buying new networking hardware, and how to adjust your network settings to get the most out of your wi-fi.
Since my work is closely related to computers, servers, and other network equipment, I like to spend most of my spare time outdoors. When I want to blow off some steam, I like to ride my bike. I also love hiking and swimming. When I need to calm down and clear my mind, my go-to activity is fishing.